UMD: A Globally Connected University

UMD Exchange: Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Spain)

Barcelona, Spain
Terms Offered: 
Year (Fall-Spring)
Program Type: 
Credit Type: 
Minimum GPA: 
EA Advisor:
Language of Instruction: 

All students accepted to an Exchange program are automatically considered for an award of $1,000! See Cost tab for more information.

Host Institution
Universitat Pompeu Fabra is a modern, high-quality public university founded in 1990. The main areas of study include social sciences and humanities, communication and information technologies, and health and life sciences. Average enrollment includes 12,500 students in 30 undergraduate, 33 Masters (EHEA) and 9 PhD programmes. UPF welcomes more than 1,800 international mobility students per year, and 38% of their undergraduate students have done an exchange abroad. UPF ranks in the Times Higher Education ranking 2018 as the 1st Spanish
university (140th worldwide and 60th in Europe) and 17th highest ranked (worldwide) among those under 50 years of age. 

Host City
Barcelona is Spain’s second-largest city in the autonomous region of Catalonia and is known as the “Southern Gate to Europe”. It hosts one of Europe’s largest university communities in a city known for its blend of modernist and Medieval architecture, beautiful beaches, mountains along the sea, and well-preserved city center. The city offers students no shortage of cultural, sports, leisure, and nature activities alongside a high-quality academic experience.

Exchange programs are highly competitive and space in each program is limited. You must meet the following eligibility requirements in order to apply to this program:

  • 3.0 GPA
  • Completion of 2 semesters at UMD for most fields of study, and completion of 4 semesters of study for the Barcelona Program for Interdisciplinary Studies (BaPIS)

Exchange programs are a good fit for students looking for immersion, personal growth, and the opportunity to strengthen qualities such as independence and adaptability. Please note - this exchange program is separate from the Maryland-in-Barcelona program.

Student Visa Information

A student visa is required for participation on this exchange. For more information, please visit our study abroad visa guide to view instructions for the country you will be visiting. Please note that visa information is subject to change and you are responsible for checking the embassy website for updates. Further information for visas can be found at UPF’s Living in Barcelona website

  1. Click "Apply Now" at the top of this page. You will log in with your UMD directory ID and password.
  2. Submit all application materials by the deadline listed below. This includes meeting with your EA advisor (listed at the top of this page), and may include requesting a faculty letter of recommendation, and submitting an official transcript. If a letter of recommendation and/or official transcript are required, it will be listed in MyEA once you start an application for this program. 
  3. After the application deadline, we will review all completed applications and nominate students for available spots in each exchange program.
  4. If you are nominated to participate in this exchange, you will work with your EA advisor (listed above) to apply directly to the host university, who will formally admit you to the exchange program. Nominated students must complete the host university application in accordance with the host university’s stated deadlines and instructions.
  5. Nominated students will then work with their EA advisor (listed above) and our partner universities to coordinate all aspects of the stay at the host university such as course registration, visas and arrival.


Academic Planning

Visit the Academics & Study Abroad page which outlines key considerations for your academic planning as you navigate different phases of study abroad:

Students attending Universitat Pompeu Fabra as an exchange student have access to a wide variety of course offerings. Classes are taught in English, Spanish and Catalan, with many departments offering a variety of English-taught options. Please note that courses in medicine, engineering, and business are not available to incoming exchange students.

UPF runs on a trimester schedule:

  • Trimester 1: September – December
  • Trimester 2: January – March
  • Trimester 3: April – June

UMD students will study in Trimester 1 for UMD’s fall term, and Trimester 2 + Trimester 3 for UMD’s spring term.

Each term consists of 10 weeks of classes and 2 weeks for the exams. UMD students will be required to maintain a full-time courseload, taking the equivalent of at least 12 UMD credits for their exchange term.
UPF also offers preparatory courses in Spanish or Catalan, offered at a discounted rate for exchange students. Please see the Academic Information page for further details.


There may be other course offerings on this program that are not currently listed in the Study Abroad Course Database (SACD).  If you are interested in taking a course not listed in the SACD, please submit a transfer credit evaluation request.


All credit you earn on this program will count as transfer credit towards your UMD degree.  Most courses at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra will be converted as follows:

Universitat Pompeu Fabra credit UMD credit
1 ECTS credit 0.5 UMD credit
6 ECTS credits 3 UMD credits

The chart above was last approved by the UMD Transfer Credit Committee on July 9, 2015.


Undergraduates must receive a C- equivalent or better in order to be eligible for the transfer of credit.

Universitat Pompeu Fabra Grade UMD Grade
5 C -


Students participating in the UPF exchange are typically responsible for securing their own housing accommodation while in Barcelona. However, UPF has direct agreements with some residence halls and is a part of the BCU, a public service that assists international students coming to Barcelona. Students should plan to spend approximately 350-500 euros per month for a room in a shared flat or 500 to 800 euros per month in a student residence hall.


Exchange Program Cost of Attendance
UMD students participating in an Exchange program have the benefit of paying UMD tuition rates to attend an institution abroad. For specific information about this Exchange program, please reference the Cost of Attendance Chart.

Tuition and fees for exchange programs are charged directly to your UMD account, which means you can apply UMD scholarships, state and federal financial aid, and alternative loans towards the cost of an exchange. Housing costs are paid directly to the host institution or on-site housing agency.

You can use the cost of attendance comparison worksheet to view how study abroad programs compare to each other and the amount you pay on campus at UMD. As always, your EA advisor (listed above) is available to help you complete this worksheet and find affordable programs that fit your study abroad goals.

Exchange Scholarship
All students accepted to an Exchange program are considered for an automatic award of $1,000! To be considered for this scholarship, you must:

  • Be a current degree seeking undergraduate UMD student (graduate students are not eligible for this award)
  • Not currently receive full tuition scholarship/benefits (i.e. Banneker Key, tuition remission, Frederick Douglass Scholarship, etc.)

Additional Financial Resources

Maximize your time abroad by taking advantage of resources at your host institution!

The Language Volunteering at UPF organizes leisure and cultural activities for exchange students and offers a language tandem programme, so an international student can meet a local student and exchange conversation in each other’s language. 

For an additional fee, UMD exchange students may also opt into additional services such as UMD-arranged housing or excursions through our staff in the Maryland-in-Barcelona program. Please reach out to your EA advisor for details.

Term Year Application Deadline Admission Notification Program Start Program End
Year (Fall-Spring) 2023 03/01/2023 03/13/2023 09/18/2023 06/20/2024
Fall 2023 03/01/2023 03/13/2023
Spring 2024 09/25/2023 09/29/2023